“I will lay me down to bleed a while and then rise to fight again.”Warrior's Creed
Every teacher CAN recover their center by resting and rising to the task of getting ahead on the school year.
Jot down ideas of things that you wish you had time to do with your students. Note anything that you did that was effective and worked well and perhaps want to expand upon.
No holds barred brainstorm. If you can't see it you can't do it. Do this with a friend if it helps.
Look at the content that you HAVE to keep but that you need to improve upon by putting a star beside it. If something already works, don't change it. Tackle the things that are weaknesses. Be honest with yourself – no teacher is perfect.
Map out your plan by month in pencil because you will need to erase as you work on things.
This is my Mom's very important tactic and it works.
5 – Go back and integrate
Go back and take a good look at the things you can put together. Look at the first list of brainstorming, add something. Is there a content area where you are weak from your second list that you can pull in to improve things.
For example, when we have our cross curricular project with the term papers for juniors and seniors, I'm going to add a module where students evaluate and create a venn diagram on the best bibliography makers out there. I want them to see that there are some very useful tools that will help them with their work and improve their accuracy. (I can use Diigo, Google Docs, blogging, and PowerPoint/ Presentation skills in this little module.) So, that will add a 1-2 day prior to the module where they are working on term papers.
6 – Plan the tools and parent permissions
Then, once you see what you want to do, take a look at the tools and parental permissions you'll need. This will take some time. For example, I'm looking at moving our school website to wordpress and having my students keep the news, etc. maintained. This will take some back end work on my side. I can go ahead and do this!
7 – Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
If there's anything big (like Flat Classroom or Digiteen project) that you want to integrate – spend some time NOW talking to your curriculum director or principal.The first few crazy days of school are not the time. (Especially if you're a part of the movement of some schools to start students and teachers on the same day – which I personally think is a HUGE MISTAKE.)
Some of you are in a situation where you have to team plan EVERYTHING. Get yourself together and get ready for your first session. Use google docs to plan and do these activities with others. Think about this now. You have more control than you think. Ask to be a pilot for a new technology. Be the leader you want to see in others. Age and seniority isn't needed to be a leader.
You could also make a list of the things your students are NOT getting: blogging, collaborative writing via wikis/ Google docs, educational networking. Then, make suggestions and offer to be a pilot.
The Most Important “A” in your Classroom
The most important A in your classroom is Attitude!
I like to write this Att-I-tude because truly “I” am at the center of my own attitude.
I cannot control what others do. I cannot control my administration. I cannot control new policies or programs. I cannot even control my own schedule or what students come in my door on the first day of school, but I can completely control my own attitude. My attitude is just that – MY attitude.
I get full credit and take full responsibility for my own attitude. It is mine. I will be known by others for the attitude that I convey about my work and my students. (I shared a lot about this in my keynote last Monday 12 Habits of Top 21st Century Teachers.)
By planning ahead, I can help position my attitude for success. As I work on this series sharing tips for getting organized and prepared for the school year ahead, I've got a poll running on my Facebook page that lets you vote on already suggested answers or to add your own. Please join in!
- Monday Morning Pep Talk for Teachers (coolcatteacher.blogspot.com)
- 10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Summer Break (coolcatteacher.blogspot.com)
- Pat Conroy's Inspiration for Teachers (coolcatteacher.blogspot.com)
- The Books of Summer: 2011 Edition
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